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Toledo Angola and Western Railway Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-102

Scope and Contents

The Toledo, Angola and Western Railway records are broken down into six (6) distinct series, the first four of which deal directly with the Railway, and the last two involve organizations directly related to the business of the Railway.

The first series, Office Files, consists of three distinct subsections each comprising a chronological portion of the Railway's history. The subsections are: 1904-1916, 1916-1918, and 1923-1946. These Office Files remain, with the exception of the subsection 1916-1918, in their original order and are comprised of correspondence, memoranda, and other items related to specific subjects. The subsection 1916-1918 was found grouped together in a single box, although without any sort of organization. Each piece was sorted out and arranged according to subject, the subjects were arranged alphabetically and then arranged chronologically within each folder

As the collection was processed, other files were discovered which could be related to a single specific subject, these "subject files" not found in the original groupings of office files were placed in alphabetical order at the end of the subsection 1923-1946.

The second series, Financial and Administrative Documents was the most difficult to arrange. It consists of several distinct categories, each arranged according to its own, internal logic. The first grouping, Reports, is divided according to the frequency of the issuance of the report. Annual Reports are followed by Monthly Reports, which are followed by Weekly and then Daily Reports.

Arranged alphabetically within Annual Reports are an Accountants Report, prepared by a Public Accountant hired by the railroad; Annual Reports of Fatal Accidents (which thankfully read, for the most part, “Nothing to Report”); Annual Reports to the Interstate Commerce Commission, a federal body that regulated Commerce; Annual Reports to the Public Utilities Commission, a government organization; Annual Reports to the Tax Commission, a government organization in charge of Tax Collection, which in 1939 changed its name to the Department of Taxation; and finally Audited Reports which sum up the companies activities for those fiscal years.

Within the Monthly Reports category are Monthly Comparative Statements of Earnings, which compare on a monthly basis the Revenues of the company with the same month a year prior; Monthly Estimated Results of Operation, which estimates the costs and profits of the company for the upcoming month based upon prior performance; and Monthly Locomotive Inspection Reports, which detail information gleaned from the inspection of the locomotives.

The Weekly Reports category is comprised solely of Weekly Load Reports that describe, on a weekly basis, the cargo carried by various trains and their destinations.

Daily Reports contain the Daily Conductor’s Reports; Daily Diaries that record such information as the weather, board meetings, and other happenings on a daily basis for an entire year; Daily Interchange Report of Cars that describes the switching of cars during that day; Daily Report of M. of W. Department; Daily Train Inspection; and Switching and Per Diem Reclaim, which contains reports of money earned each day through switching and reclaim.

In 1929 the company hired a surveyor to prepare a report to be used for valuation purposes this Surveyor’s Report remains in its own category.

The grouping Returns contains only 3 types of returns, Capital Stock Returns, which are returns on the companies’ investments, Income Tax Returns, which are returns on Taxes paid, and Returns Under 15-A of the Interstate Commerce Act.

The third section of the Financial and Administrative Documents series is Ledgers. This section is divided again into three groupings, General Ledgers, Shipping Ledgers and Accounting Ledgers.

The General Ledgers consist of Records and Reports the Interstate Commerce Commission Bureau of Valuation. The Shipping Ledgers are composed of Gas Shipment Ledgers that describe shipments of Gas along the Railroad; General Shipment Ledgers, Ledgers of Train Movements; Record of Cars in the Yard; and a Stone Shipment Ledger.

The Accounting Ledgers consist of Accounts Received/Payable, Accounts Received, and Accounts Payable. Also included in the Accounting Ledgers are Cash Books, detailing the amount of Cash on Hand, Inbound/Outbound Freight Revenue Ledgers, Inbound Freight Revenue Ledgers and Outbound Freight Revenue Ledgers. In addition, Pay Roll Ledgers, Through Traffic Ledgers, Track Supply Ledgers, a Waybill Ledger, and an Annual Account Ledger are contained in this Accounting Ledger grouping.

The fourth and final component of the Financial and Administrative Documents series are items that do not fit into any of the above categories, but are clearly Financial or Administrative. Included in this category are Account Statements, Receipts and Deposit Tickets, Authorities for Expenditure, Balance Sheets, Cancelled Checks, Demurrage, Freight Claims, Pay Roll Account Statements, Pay Roll Deduction Stubs, Purchase Orders, Shipping Orders, and Vouchers.

The third series, Printed Materials, is comprised of materials published both by the Railroad and other outside sources. Included in this series are Blueprints and Maps, which contains a handsomely drawn depiction of the track and surrounding area circa 1911. Also included under this heading are a grouping of books used for research and reference purposes by employees of the Railroad, these books have physically been moved however to the Rare Books collection and can be found through The University of Toledo’s library system.

A set of Diagrams, Samples and Promotional materials sent to the Toledo, Angola and Western Railway has been grouped together and included in the Printed Materials series, as have publications by the Interstate Commerce Commission (I.C.C.) and the Public Utilities Commission. Manuals for Locomotives and shop equipment as well as Parts Catalogs for replacement parts have been included in this series as well as Schematic Drawings of mechanical parts and Stationary printed for the Railroad are also included in the Printed Materials series.

The fourth series, Ephemera is comprised of various objects of historical value related to this collection. A Brass Spittoon, signal lamps and a Warning Poster Against Sabotage (1942) are included in this series.

The fifth series contains two ledgers and a folder of correspondence related to the Toledo, Angola and Western Employee’s Mutual Aid Society.

The sixth series consists of Waterfront Electric Railway Materials. A variety of souvenirs related to the Toledo, Angola and Western Railway, including T-Shirts, Decals, and Ballpoint Pens, are a part of these Materials. Also included are promotional materials for Waterfront Electric as well as several administrative items, including a card index of names and addresses, presumably of individual affiliated with the Railway.


  • Creation: 1898-1986

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials. Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

On July 11th, 1902, The Toledo, Angola and Western Railway with its 8 1/4 miles of track, was officially incorporated. Originating as a spur of off the much larger New York Central Line at Central Avenue in Toledo, Ohio, the Railway linked the Silica Stone Quarries to the world. Largely the quarry funded its construction and the construction supplies were shared with the Toledo Terminal Railroad, which was also forming at this time.

In 1913 Toledo, Angola and Western bought out the Silica Northern Railway, increasing its track length 2 1/4 miles to the northwest, connecting it with Centennial, Ohio. Throughout 1910's, the Railway began to expand beyond its Stone Quarry roots, serving a variety of industries that popped up around it including an Oil Refinery (Hickock Oil), a Bottling Plant (Owens Bottling Plant), and a Fertilizer Plant (Stadler Fertilizer Company). In 1922, A.C. Dustin was hired as president of the company. Dustin had previously served, since 1906, as President of the Forth Smith and Western Railroad in Arkansas, and his experience led the Toledo Angola and Western through a period of prosperity which peaked in 1929 with the company showing a profit of over $55,000. The crash of the stock market and the subsequent depression hit Toledo Angola and Western fairly hard, forcing them to lay off several employees and turn down many applications for employment. However within 5 years, Dustin's Railroad was again showing a sizeable profit.

An interesting side note from this period involves the formation of the Employee's Mutual Aid Society, an organization created by and for the employees of the Railroad, but existing completely separately. The Mutual Aid Society was formed in 1927 after the death of an employee left a widow unable to make payments on her mortgage. This Society eventually transformed into a form of group insurance sponsored by the Railway and it disbanded as an independent organization in 1937.

Industries continued to open along Toledo Angola and Western Railway throughout the 30's, including the France Stone Company (which operated in Silica Ohio) and the Medusa Portland Cement Company which opened a mill at Silica, utilizing the crushed stone from the quarry. Upon the death of A.C. Dustin in 1938, the reigns of the company were passed to J.B. John who ran the company through the 1940's.

The bulk of the Toledo Angola and Western Railway's records date from before 1950, so the details on the companies' history after this point are sketchy until 1979 when the Railway was bought out by the Waterfront Electric Railway. Not a real railroad in the traditional sense of the term, the Waterfront Electric operated in International Park in downtown Toledo, marketing themselves as a tourist attraction. They sold various souvenirs and memorabilia, some items bearing the Toledo Angola and Western name. However by the end of the 1980's, Waterfront Electric Railway shut its doors as well, closing a chapter on Toledo railroading history.


48.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



An extensive collection containing stock certificates, railroad publications and parts catalogs, correspondence, financial documents and ledgers, reports, manuals and textbooks, freight claims and other administrative documents, and artifacts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Charles E. Sheets, 1994

Materials Specific Details

Some materials, due to their size and shape, are stored separately from the main collection. If so, a symbol is placed beside its description in the box and folder inventory. The symbols are defined as below:

* - oversize cabinet

Toledo Angola and Western Railway Records
Benjamin Grillot; updated by Oliver Brown, June 2021.
November 1998-1999, updated July 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States